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Durham Cathedral, Deanery Kitchen f.166

This outline view in ink shows the interior of the octangular vaulted kitchen in the deanery of Durham cathedral. This remarkable monastic kitchen was designed and built by John Lewyn, the principal mason to the abbey during its great period of reconstruction in the 14th century, between 1366 and 1374. Square outside but octagonal internally, its fireproof stone vault is supported by a unique design of ribs forming an eight-pointed star with a ventilation louvre at its centre. The curvilinear roofbeams are clearly influenced by Spanish and Persian architecture of the time. Grimm gives an intriguing view of the working arrangements when it served as the kitchen for the Deanery - a role it performed well into the 20th century. Recent conversion into the Cathedral's book and souvenir shop has made this fascinating room accessible to the general public for the first time.

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